January 2013

In 2007, the National Park Service established the site of the Sand Creek massacre as a National Historic Site.  It's just a few miles north of Colorado 96 in eastern Colorado, near the small town of Chivington.


Waldek, Kansas is on a few maps, but there's nothing left of the original town but a few unused buildings.

Garden City, Kansas thrives from the meat packing business.

Holcomb, Kansas.  Perhaps best known from the Truman Capote novel; there're very few original buildings left.

Deerfield, Kansas.


Holly, Colorado as the sun goes down.

La Junta, Colorado has a downtown cafe where I've often had breakfast.


Cheraw, Colorado.

It's a cold, cold morning as the sun comes up.

Arlington, Colorado doesn't seem to have anything left of its center.  The abandoned school building remains.


Haswell, Colorado.


Galatea, Colorado was one of many such towns along the Missouri Pacific railroad.  It once had 300 people.  Not now.

This is no longer an important route.

Eads, Colorado is the larger town in the region.

From Colorado 96, there's about eight miles of well-graded dirt leading to the entrance of the historic site.

  Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

The Sand Creek Massacre - 8 Hours that would change the Great Plains forever.

The Sand Creek Massacre: profound, symbolic, spiritual, controversial, a site unlike any other in America.

As 650 cavalrymen came around a prairie bend - the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Left Hand lay in the valley before them. Chaotic, horrific, tumultuous, and bloody, the events of November 29, 1864 would change the course of history.

- NPS website

During the winter months, the park is closed on weekends.  This is a weekend, so I'd be walking just a bit farther this morning.

During my stay here, the temperature never even reached 10 degrees.  Luckily, there was no wind, so while cold, it was never bitter-cold.


The visitor center was closed, of course.  I'm the only person here.


I doubt that snakes were active this morning, but, certainly, I did stay on the trail.


The trail follows the high bluffs, looking out over the broad river bed and the site of the massacre.  There are a number of panels explaining some of the events.  For the main, however, this is an undeveloped area.


A sad place.

This is the bed of Sand Creek, looking to the south--the route that Colonel John Chivington used to approach the camp.

Once out of the Sand Creek, the land is wide and flat.

Brandon, Colorado was founded in 1887 (as were virtually all towns in this part of Colorado).

Towner, Colorado.  When Kansas was "dry", Towner was the nearest source of alcohol to western Kansans.

A line of rail cars waiting.


Horace, Kansas is in Greeley county.  Yes; both named for Horace "go west, young man" Greeley.

Tribune, Kansas.

Selkirk, Kansas.

Leoti, Kansas

Marienthal, Kansas

Modoc, Kansas


Tennis, Kansas

Mansfield,  Kansas.  Where?  It's supposed to be here, but I could find nothing.

Pierceville, Kansas


last edit: 1/13/2013